Scattered across the plains of Colorado are small acreages of forest that have been planted for a variety of conservation purposes.


Plains Working Forests (Agroforestry)

Though designed and planted for specific purposes, these small acreages of forest can be defined as working forest lands that provide the same environmental services as the naturally occurring working forests. These forests provide a disproportionate benefit to those that have chosen to live and/or make their living through agriculture on the plains.

Windbreak planting on the plains of Colorado.

Threats to Agroforestry

Threats to these small forests include the very weather extremes from which many were designed to provide protection. High winds, heavy snows and extreme temperature shifts often damage the trees. Invasive pests such as the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer have the potential to impact these plantings just as they do in community forests. Wildfire often burns conservation plantings. Sustaining these forests requires constant vigilance, maintenance and renovation so that they will continue to provide the environmental services needed by plains dwellers.

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Learn more about agroforestry